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Bills defense returns to form against Miami after bye week

Dolphins Bills Football Ed Oliver
Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 22:10:07-04

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Bills left a lot to be desired going into their bye week. Coming out of it, the offense took its time to get going against the Dolphins. Buffalo's defense, however, came out swinging and held the Dolphins to just 11 points on Sunday.

"No matter what. No matter how well they're doing, you know, obviously we always have to pick it up on defense," safety Micah Hyde said. "There's going to be games where they have to pick us up. And we're a complete football team."

"That's the biggest takeaway from this game. You're not always going to come out and score," McDermott said. "Like most games in the NFL, it comes down to the fourth quarter. And I thought that was good for our team. Now we have to build on it."

Even though neither team could find the end zone for the entire first half, the Dolphins had an easier time moving the ball. Instead of facing a backup like they did in September's shutout, the Bills had to deal with Tua Tagovailoa, and the Dolphins' run-pass options, throughout the entire game.

"I think they were nickel and diming us in the first half with that RPO. You know, the inside breaking routes, and we had to make some adjustments at halftime," Hyde said. "I know they weren't throwing the ball downfield, but they were moving the ball in the first half.

The Bills defense, and especially Hyde, preach a bend don't break mentality every time the defense takes the field. Despite allowing 169 yards in the first half, and requiring adjustments, Buffalo only allowed three points in the first 30 minutes. Miami's total could've been more, but in stead, Buffalo came up with a big fumble recovery.

"That was a big moment in the game," McDermott said. "It was a good momentum shift and a good stop by our defense. It's a situation even a couple plays before that we have to be better with. And we'll continue to work in that area."

"Really in that situation takeaways and field goals are what we're thinking about. Obviously if they get a field goal, they get the ball coming out of the half up six to three," safety Jordan Poyer said. "But that takeaway really killed a lot of the momentum they were having. And we made adjustments at halftime, came out in the second half, and played a lot better."

A return to form from the pass rush also provided a boost for Buffalo's defense. 2019 first round pick Ed Oliver had a spectacular game inside while veteran defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison had a sack apiece.

"You know what? I just felt free. I was just playing," Oliver said. "When you're having so much fun, it's hard to tell how good you're playing. Youre' just having fun, you know what I'm saying? I just kind of felt like a little kid out there running around, making plays, and having fun."

The Bills' next match-up could be another fun one for the defense. Buffalo will visit rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.

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